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  #1  
Old 13 Sep 2009
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Michelin XS-F & Bridgestone VSJ availability

Hi,
I've been running BFG ATs on my 110 in the desert for ages (and XZLs when I'm not in the desert), and I think I need a new set of tyres before our Libya trip in 2010.

I've always wanted to try the traditional sand-pattern tyres, especially the Michelin XS-F or the Bridgestone VSJ Jamal. Here in the US you can't get 'em, but that doesn't matter as my truck is in the UK, where they also seem hard to find.

I've seen them on a couple of mid-East and Africa websites, but would like to pickup a set in ideally the UK, or the EU. Michelin Europe have been totally unhelpful so far...

Anyone know of a place I can get them? (7.50 16s)

Thanks,
Nick.
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Last edited by nickt; 13 Sep 2009 at 17:29. Reason: added tyre size
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Old 13 Sep 2009
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I think your best bet here would be to try the MOD places.

here is a good list to start you off: MILWEB - Dealer and Services Directory

LM Vass or Withams are most likely your best chance: Welcome to MOD Sales Online - Military Vehicles for Sale - Tyres

L W Vass Ltd

But i dont think you will have much chance of finding any. Worth giving them a ring etc. I have had a quick look on all those websites and nothing, but worth giving them a ring (if you can) to see what they know.

Good luck.

G

Ps. I personally think you will be absolutely fine on AT's and given the chance of driving both a day after each other on the same terrain, would probably not notice any significant difference.
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Last edited by Griffdowg; 13 Sep 2009 at 17:55. Reason: made myself more clear!
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Old 14 Sep 2009
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Length of contact patch which is proportional to height of tire is probably the most important single factor in staying on top in sand. I know we can get 8.25R16 XZLs (there's a set on a BJ60 in my front yard) in North America. Will those fit on a 110? Does an additional 7% in height push you over the top on torque, and will it endanger the half-shafts?

Charlie
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Old 14 Sep 2009
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You got it Charlie. The reason I'm asking is the 265mm wide ATs are just too wide for the 110 to push through soft sand - I really got the impression that the 110 was not enjoying pushing 265s through the sand.

Even though the XZL tread pattern is worse in sand than the AT pattern, the 7.5in (about 190-200mm) width of these tyres made them better in these conditions.

I have a set of 7.50 XZLs which I'll take with me over the ATs, but what I really want is a narrow tyre with a tread pattern that is good in sand. Hence, can I get 7.50 XS-Fs?

@Griffdowg, thanks for the links, I didn't consider that. I'll put some calls in over the next couple of days (nice 90 BTW).

We're all tyre-geeks really, although locally called tire-geeks. Or "sad", as my wife says

Nick.
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  #5  
Old 14 Sep 2009
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Nick you can get XCL's over here in 7.50's quite readily. (I have a set on my IIa Lightweight) the blocky tread pattern is not far off what your after. maybe worth a compromise? I would imagine the XZL (like my BFG MT's) will be to aggressive for sand.

I picked up 5 XCL's on standard LR steels for £100 just to give you an idea

G
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Old 25 Sep 2009
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Thanks all.

I sourced 4 XS-F and 2 Dunlop SP Sand Grip (what looks like an identical pattern - good enough for spares). Vass had just got them in from the MOD. Peter Demaine there has been really helpful.



I've posted a follow-up question regarding running them tubeless.

Can't wait to try them in the sand!

Cheers,
Nick.
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Old 25 Sep 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffdowg View Post
I would imagine the XZL (like my BFG MT's) will be to aggressive for sand.
Yeah, I tried that. XZLs are a great tyre, as long as you're not in the sand...

Nick.
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  #8  
Old 12 Oct 2009
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Hi folks, I was at the Libyan deserts this winter. I also drive Def 110 300tdi. To be honest, I would never take 7.5 16 with me on such trip unless I want spend most of time with the shovel No local trucks used 7.5 at the desert either. Some farmers used those on the hard surface roads though. Same diameter as 7.5 will have 235/85 but will be slightly wider. One of our cars used 235/85 and did ok although the driver had heavy foot.

Perhaps it is a surprise but my 255/85 BFG MT (not AT) did just fine after going down to 1 atm and using some momentum. My colleagues used 265/75 or 285/75 x 16 and those worked even better. As to the risk to your CV or halfshafts, I solved it by installing upgraded CV/shafts from Ashcroft transmissions.

Cheers

Jarek
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Old 13 Oct 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wywial View Post
Perhaps it is a surprise but my 255/85 BFG MT (not AT) did just fine after going down to 1 atm and using some momentum
Same tyre and size I use its a good choice for most terrain.

G
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Old 20 Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by wywial View Post
My colleagues used 265/75 or 285/75 x 16 and those worked even better.
That's interesting, the complete opposite to my experiences. I'm sure vehicle weight is the most important factor here, along with power, and I've generally enjoyed more from a narrower tyre than a fatter one.

Horses for courses I suppose, and my XS-F exercise is really more academic and nostalgic than practical!

Nick.
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  #11  
Old 20 Oct 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffdowg View Post
Same tyre and size I use its a good choice for most terrain.

G

I second that... i run 255/85's on my 110 and they're an ideal sized "all round" (if you'll pardon the pun) tyre.
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